I’m a free-range blogger.
I could never pick a niche. It didn’t feel natural, and I’d never been able to just pick one specific thing to write about — one problem to solve — because that’s just not who I am. My background is in Multimedia Design, my work experience is everything from web design to office administration to retail, and my interests range from gaming to social justice and everything in-between. I am that Tumblr user that’s posting aesthetic pictures one minute and super-serious social justice articles the next. Some would accuse me of not being able to focus, I’d say I’m just passionate about a bunch of things at once.
Yeah, that’s right, passionate.
People aren’t cardboard cut-outs. We’re three-dimensional, with all sorts of different thoughts, feelings, and interests. Even blogs in the gaming niche tend to cover multiple topics within gaming, and some even deviate from that because the bloggers are human. They get excited about non-game stuff, too. Your local MMO gold blogger sometimes talks about her home, family, and that major political issue that impacts her while she also talks about what she’s looking forward to in the next game expansion. All those super-popular mom blogs share everything from recipes to deals to what’s going on in their neighbourhood. It’s cool. It’s how blogging was meant to be.
Back in the day blogs were where you shared whatever you were thinking, whenever you wanted, with a group of people that had similar interests. It was less about finding the most profitable market and more about just sharing, which hasn’t changed on a lot of social media platforms. It’s just taken a different form. Discussion was — and is — a major part of that, too.
When I returned to blogging sometime last year, I found myself really freaking stumped by the idea of figuring out a niche and blogging about a specific thing. My blog never actually got up off the ground. My interest in writing waned. My internal freaking out continued to get worse, but I just couldn’t be arsed.
Then I started reading the other side of the niche debate and I thought “what the hell, let’s try this” and I went back to, well. This. Writing what I want and what interests me, though it’s on a slight schedule.
I chose free-range blogging because that’s what felt natural to me.
Is free-range blogging for everyone?
Probably not. I mean, some people do want to blog about certain things without going off-road at all, and I can respect that. You do you. Sometimes, ‘you do you’ means doing things the way that’s most accepted. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you’re comfortable with.
That’s the key. You have to be comfortable with what you’re doing.
If writing about whatever the latest profitable thing is leaves you feeling like you’d rather do anything but write, then you’re either blogging in the wrong niche or you shouldn’t be boxing yourself in at all. If you have so much experience in so many different areas that picking just one is impossible or leaves you feeling anxious, then you should be a free-range blogger, or at least give it a shot.
If it doesn’t work? There are lots of resources out there for figuring out niches. They just didn’t really satisfy me.
You do you, and whatever ‘you’ is, I hope you find it!